Dr Nicki J. Whitehouse (Extended Information)
Senior Lecturer in Palaeoecology
BA Archaeology (University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 1988);
MSc Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy (University of Sheffield, 1993);
PhD University of Sheffield (1999);
Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHET) (2001);
Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society (2003);
Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (F.S.A.);
Positions of external responsibility
INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Research) President for Humans and Biosphere Commission (2011-2015)
AHRC Peer Review College Member (2010-2014)
Editorial Board Quaternary International
School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology,
Queen’s University Belfast
Belfast BT7 1NN
+44 (0) 28 90973978
GAP1013 Introduction to World Archaeology
GAP2049 Archaeology and the Heritage of Rome
GAP2050 Ancient Economies and Landscapes
GAP2041 Flints, Farmers and Forts: Ireland in Prehistory
GAP2030 Sustaining the Biosphere
GAP7203 Landscape Palaeoecology
Postgraduate Research Co-Ordinator
Archaeology-Palaeoecology Exams Officer (UG)
Nicki Whitehouse is a palaeoecologist and environmental archaeologist with a broad interest in late Quaternary environmental change. Her expertise lies in the analysis of sub-fossil beetles in a variety palaeoenvironments, and is primarily concerned with questions of environmental change, particularly over the late glacial and early-mid-Holocene, palaeoecology and biodiversity, understanding Holocene landscape structure and the development of the cultural landscape, especially the transition to the Neolithic. Much of her recent work has been concerned with examining early Holocene landscape and woodland structure in response to natural and human-induced change and especially the transition to agriculture in the Neolithic, its chronology, effects on the landscape and the extent to which such activities impacted the cultural landscape and its implications for the British and Irish Neolithic. She is PI on the 'Cultivating Societies' project, which has been concerned with re-examining the transition and development of the Neolithic in Ireland. The project includes a publicly database of Irish plant macro fossils for the period. This research is funded via the Heritage Council (Ireland), NERC, AHRC, and British Academy.
Nicki is a founder member (together with Jane Bunting, University of Hull) of the 'Bridging the Gap' network, an informal group of ecologists, conservation managers and palaeoecologists interested in exploring the ways in which long term perspectives (considered as 100-10 000 year time spans) can contribute to understanding present ecosystems and ecosystem processes and to predicting future responses to environmental and management change.
Articles in journals and books:
Whitehouse, N.J.; Schulting, R.J.; McClatchie, M.; Barratt, P.; McLaughlin, R.; Bogaard, A.; Colledge, S.; Marchant,R.; Gaffrey, J.; Bunting, M.J. submitted. Neolithic agriculture on the western fringes of Europe: a multi-disciplinary approach to the boom and bust of early farming in Ireland. Journal of Archaeological Science.
McClatchie, M.; Bogaard, A.; Colledge, S.; Whitehouse, N.J.; Schulting, R.J.; Barratt, P.; McLaughlin, T.R. 2012. Neolithic farming in north-western Europe: archaeobotanical evidence from Ireland. Journal of Archaeological Science - http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2012.10.022
Whitehouse, N.J. in press 2012. Coleoptera analysis. In: Kelly, E.P. and Mulhall, I. (eds) Bog Bodies Research Project. National Museum of Ireland Monograph, Dublin.
Bogaard, A. & Whitehouse, N.J. 2010. Early agriculture in uncertain climates: themes and approaches Environmental Archaeology 15(2), 1-4.
Whitehouse, N.J. and Smith, D.N. 2010. How fragmented was the British Holocene wildwood? Perspectives on the “Vera” grazing debate using fossil beetles Quaternary Science Reviews 29 (3-4), 539-553.
Whitehouse, N.J. 2010. Conservation Lessons from the Holocene Record in “Natural” and “Cultural” landscapes. In: Hall, M. (ed.) Restoration and History; the search for a usable environmental past. Routledge, Taylor & Francis, 87-97.
Kenward, H. and Whitehouse, N.J. 2010. 21. Insects. In: O’Connor, T. and Sykes, N. (eds.) Extinctions and Immigrations of the British Fauna. Windgather Press (now Oxbow), 181-189.
Smith, D.N.; Whitehouse, N.J.; Bunting, M.J. and Chapman, H. 2010. Can we characterise ‘open-ness’ in the Holocene palaeoecological record? Modern analogue studies from Dunham Massey deer park and Epping Forest, England. The Holocene 12(2), 215-229.
Watson, J.E.; Brooks, S.J. Whitehouse, N.J.; Reimer, P.J.; Birks, H.J.B.; Turney, C.M. 2010. Chironomid-inferred Late-Glacial Summer Air Temperatures From Lough Nadourcan, Co. Donegal, Ireland. ,Journal of Quaternary Science 25 (8), 1200-1210. doi: 10.1002/jqs.1399
Plunkett, G.; Whitehouse, N.J.; Hall, V.A. Charman, D.; Blaauw, M.; Kelly, E. 2009. A multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental investigation of the find spot of an Iron Age bog body from Old Croghan, Co. Offaly, Ireland. Journal of Archaeological Science 36, 265-277.
McClatchie, M., Whitehouse, N., Schulting, R., Bogaard, A. and Barratt P. 2009. Cultivating societies: new insights into agriculture in Neolithic Ireland. In E. Danaher, J. Eogan and M. Stanley (eds), Dining and Dwelling. Archaeology and the National Roads Authority Monograph Series No. 6. National Roads Authority, Dublin, pp. 1-8.
Whitehouse, N.J.; Langdon, P.G.; Bustin, R. and Galsworthy, S. 2008. Sub-fossil Insects and ecosystem dynamics in wetlands; implications for biodiversity and conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation 17 (9), 2055-2078.
Bunting, M.J. and Whitehouse, N.J. 2008. Adding time to the conservation toolkit: palaeoecology and long term wetland function dynamics. Biodiversity and Conservation 17(9), 2051-2054.
Plunkett, G.; Carroll, F.; Hartwell, B.; Whitehouse, N. J. and Reimer, P.J. 2008. Vegetation history at the multi-period prehistoric complex at Ballynahatty, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. Journal of Archaeological Science 35 (1), 181-190.
Whitehouse, N.J. 2007. Fossil insect remains in environmental investigations. In, Murphy, E. and Whitehouse, N.J. (eds.) Environmental Archaeology in Ireland. Oxbow Books: Oxford, pp. 136-163.
Whitehouse, N.J.; Smith, D.N. and Bunting, J.M. 2007. Beetle-vegetation relationships and Holocene landscape structure: a modern analogue approach. In Makohoniernko, M.; Makowiecki, D. and Czerniawska, J. (eds) Eurasian Perspectives on Environmental Archaeology, Środowisko i Kultura (Environment and Human Culture) Vol. 3, 145-147.
O’Neill, J.; Plunkett, G. and Whitehouse, N.J. 2007. Archaeological and palaeoecological investigations of a Middle Bronze Age settlement at Ballyarnet Lake, Co. Derry. Ulster Journal of Archaeology 66, 39-49.
Turney, C.S.M. , K. van den Burg, S. Wastegård, S.M. Davies, Whitehouse N.J., J.R. Pilcher and C. Callaghan 2006. North European last glacial-interglacial transitions (LGIT; 15-9 ka) tephrochronology: extended limits and new events. Journal of Quaternary Science 21(4), 335-345.
Whitehouse, N.J. 2006. The Holocene British and Irish ancient woodland fossil beetle fauna: implications for woodland history, biodiversity and faunal colonisation. Quaternary Science Reviews 25 (15-16), 1755-1789.
Whitehouse, N.J. 2006. What can forest managers learn from research on fossil insects? Linking ecological forest history, biodiversity and management. In Hanula, J. and Grove, S. (eds) Insect Biodiversity and Dead Wood: Proceedings of a symposium for the 22nd International Congress on Entomology. United States Department of Agriculture Reports. Forest Service, Southern Research Station, 30-41.
Whitehouse, N.J.; Roe, H.; McCarron, S. and Knight, J. (eds.) 2008.North of Ireland; field guide. Quaternary Research Association, London. 301pp.
Murphy, E.M. and Whitehouse, N.J. (eds.) 2007. Environmental Archaeology in Ireland. Oxford: Oxbow Books.
Bateman, M.D.; Buckland, P.C.; Frederick, C.D. & Whitehouse, N.J. (eds.) 2001. The Quaternary of East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. Field guide. Quaternary Research Association, London.
Whitehouse, N.J.; McClatchie, M.; Barratt, P.; Schulting, R.; Mclaughlin, R. & Bogaard, A. 2010. INSTAR – Cultivating Societies. Archaeology Ireland 24(2), 16-19.
(1) Cultivating Societies: Assessing the Evidence for Agriculture in Neolithic Ireland. Funded by the INSTAR 2008, 2009 and 2010 Programme (Heritage Council, Republic of Ireland). PI: Nicki Whitehouse; CO-I’s: Dr Rick Schulting, Dr Amy Bogaard, University of Oxford; CO-I /Researcher: Dr Meriel McClatchie (QUB); Researchers: Dr Phil Barratt (QUB); Dr Rowan McLaughlin (QUB). Project partners include researchers from the National Roads Authority, RoI; CRDS, RoI; UCD; National Museums of Scotland; Queen’s University; UCL; University of York and University of Hull. This project is examining the extent, nature and timing of Neolithic farming in Ireland through the collation, integration and analysis of unpublished and published data (archaeobotanical, zoo-archaeological, palaeoecological, C14, stable isotope, and archaeological data) from the commercial, state, and academic sectors. Bringing together international researchers from a range of backgrounds enables integration of these varied lines of evidence. The project is investigating relationships between economy, landscape and settlement against a wider palaeoenvironmental backdrop, and exploring implications for the roles and perceived importance of ritual and domestic spheres during the Neolithic. As part of this project, a major new dating programme focusing on the Irish Neolithic is also being undertaken. This research will provide internationally important data for Ireland and the context of the Neolithic across Europe.
For further information, please visit the project web site: http://www.chrono.qub.ac.uk/instar/
(2) Fossil insect remains as indicators of the primeval forest; a modern analogue approach. . This research is using modern analogue data from ponds in a range of woodlands and other environments, in order to create a modern training set with which to interrogate the fossil beetle record to investigate the true nature of the Holocene “wildwood”, its structure, the role of grazing animals and more generally landscape open-ness. A major re-investigation of the palaeoentomological record of the period 10,000-2,000 cal BC using archaeological and palaeoecological data has also been carried out as part of this work (Whitehouse & Smith 2010). This research is being carried out with Dr David Smith, University of Birmingham and Dr Jane Bunting, University of Hull. Research funded by NERC to Whitehouse and Smith. See: http://planetearth.nerc.ac.uk/news/story.aspx?id=608
We have recently commenced an extension of the Holocene project by collating similar data for Quaternary interglacial sites from stages 5e, 7, 9, 11 and older to examine landscape structure, changing biodiversity over time and comparing this with the palaeo-climate record as well as the Holocene record. A new DEL-funded PhD studentship (Geoff Hill) is furthering the modern analogue work by expanding the range of modern study sites to include wetland areas (Norfolk Broads), ancient open forest (Estonia) and the Scottish Caledonian Forest. Collaborators: Dr Jane Bunting (University of Hull); Dr Carl Sayer (UCL); Dr Shinya Sugita (Tallin University, Estonia: DYLAN - Estonia Project)
(3) Climate and environmental change in New Zealand at the end of the last ice age: testing hypotheses of inter-hemispheric climate change using insect fossils. This CHRONO-funded research project (PI: Whitehouse) employed Dr Craig Woodward to undertake analyses of chironomids, pollen, beetles (Dr Jenny Watson), geochemistry alongside detailed chronological work of two lake sequences in New Zealand (Lake Howden and Cobb Valley). This work is now complete and being prepared for publication.
Collaborators: Prof Jamie Shulmeister, Dr Craig Woodward (University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia); Dr Maureen Marra (Landcare Research, New Zealand).
(4) Making the Holocene cultural landscape; archaeological and palaeoecological perspectives from Quaternary entomology. This research is concerned with producing the first comprehensive synthesis of Holocene palaeoentomology for the British Isles from the published record. This project is funded by an AHRC grant to Whitehouse.
INQUA (International Union for Quaternary Research) President for Humans and Biosphere Commission (2011-2015)
She is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (F.S.A.) and a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society (F.R.E.S.)
Member of the AHRC's Peer Review College (2010-2014)Editorial Board Quaternary International